Thursday, June 27, 2013

Movie In-Jokes: The Fog

One of the fun games when watching movies is to spot references, secret messages and gags that filmmakers, film crews and actors can slip into movies to pay tribute to films they love, have a bit of fun with their previous work, or give the cinematic equivalent of a shout-out. Here's a spotter's guide to these inside jokes.

This time we get a revealing example of the care and detail that goes into the making of props from the opening scenes of John Carpenter's The Fog.

The moment in question comes when Father Malone (Hal Holbrook) has his night of solitary drinking interrupted by a loose piece of masonry, revealing an ancient leather-bound journal hidden within the walls of his church for a century.

Malone takes a cursory look at the journal, which will later detail the sordid history of the film's locale, Antonio Bay, and provide the backstory for the fog-shrouded zombie attack to follow. But click on the photo and take a closer look at the page Malone pauses on for a moment:

It's hard to make out everything, but the cursive script reveals two discernible phrases. Do they hint at the terror that will befall Antonio Bay and its residents? Do they make clear how the rotting dead can be appeased and made to halt their rampage? Or do they reveal the frustration of a member of the art department.

Among other bits not completely visible, we can make out: college education to work writing dumb shit in this fucking movies props...

...It's time to bring in the nude girls with big tits, tattoos and shaved beavers...

Clearly it's a find of major archaeological significance.


  1. I wrote a review about the superior 1980 version of John Carpenter's The Fog on under the pen name TCM (for my initials, not Turner Classic movies BTW) and this little-known hidden inside-joke years ago. I always wanted to ask Director John Carpenter about this bizarre but hilarious enigma.

  2. One of the lines after the movie props sentence is “Lucky Me”. A fitting sarcastic ending to that paragraph.